WIMBERLEY — Anyone interested in private water-well management in the Cypress Creek watershed is invited to the no-cost Texas Well Owner Network training from 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Wimberley Community Center, 14068 Ranch Road 12 in Wimberley.
“The Texas Well Owner Network program is for Texas residents who depend on household wells for their water needs,” said Drew Gholson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and network coordinator. “Well owners who want to become familiar with Texas’ groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, water quality and water treatment will benefit from this training.”
The Cypress Creek Watershed Partnership has identified the training as part of its education and outreach efforts, program coordinators said.
Participants can have water well samples screened for common contaminants, and a $10 payment for sample analysis for E. coli is due for those bringing samples to the training.
Bringing well water samples to the training is not required, Gholson said, but if people want their water samples analyzed, they must attend the training.
“We invite private well owners to bring in a water sample to be screened for nitrate, total dissolved solids and bacteria,” Gholson said.
Well owners who would like to have their well water sampled can pick up the two sample containers, one bag and one bottle, at the AgriLife Extension offices in Hays County or Blanco County. After filling each bottle and bag with a sample from their well, participants should bring the two samples to the Sept. 12 training, Gholson said.
Analysis for E. coli bacteria will be done by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority Regional Laboratory. Sample bags for nitrate and total dissolved solids screening also should be turned in with the bottle on the day of the training.
Attendance is limited. Attendees are requested to register at twon.tamu.edu/training or by calling 979-845-1461 as soon as possible.
Gholson said the Wimberley training is one of 14 trainings being conducted statewide through the Preventing Water Quality Contamination through the Texas Well Owner Network project.
“The core content of this program is the same as other trainings, but the information is tailored to local water quality issues and aquifers,” he said.
“More than 1 million private water wells in Texas provide water to citizens in rural areas and increasingly to those living on small acreages at the growing rural-urban interface,” Gholson said. “Private well owners are independently responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells. They are responsible for ensuring their drinking water is safe. They are responsible for all aspects of the water system—testing, inspecting, maintaining—and this training will help private well owners to understand and care for their wells.”
Funding for Texas Well Owner Network project is through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The project is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.